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Common Questions

Gentle Care is Our Cornerstone

Families have many questions about the actual cremation process. If you don’t see the answer to your question, contact us for more information.

Where is cremation performed?
There are very few crematories compared to funeral homes.  Most funeral homes transport individuals entrusted to their care to an offsite crematory for refrigerated storage and cremation. Willig Funeral Home has it's own Gentle Care Crematory. An entrusted loved one never leaves our care.  Just as important, our serene, reverent Gentle Care Crematory is private.  Employees from other funeral homes never enter our facility, so the possibility of visual or unsupervised access to a loved one is eliminated.

When will my loved one's cremated remains be returned, so that a memorial service, inurnment or scattering may be scheduled?
Factors that determine when cremation can occur and accordingly, when cremated remains can be returned include:

  • 24 hour waiting period mandated by the State of Pennsylvania
  • Physician completion of death certificate
  • Coroner/medical examiner authorization
  • Next of kin authorizations


If all of the above requirements are met, it is possible that cremated remains can be returned within 48 hours.  However, it is not uncommon for a loved one to remain in the care of the funeral home or crematory for several days while legal requirements are satisfied.

Regardless of the waiting period, at our Gentle Care Crematory, private refrigeration, instead of community refrigeration, is provided until cremation can take place.

How long is the actual cremation process?

It depends on equipment and the business model of the crematory.  High volume facilities may employ methods to reduce cremation time and related expense to a minimum, and the process may take 90 minutes or even less.

At our Gentle Care Crematory, every loved one entrusted to our care is afforded an undisturbed, 3-hour minimum cremation process.

Does comingling of cremated remains occur?
Through the process of cremation, much of an individual is returned to the universe in the form of energy.  The bone fragments that remain are the cremated remains. Crematories can take extreme care in recovering cremated remains before performing the next cremation, but it is impossible to keep microscopic comingling from occurring.

At our Gentle Care Crematory, we do take extreme care.   After a cremation, instead of relying solely on a wire rake at possibly a temperature of 1000 degrees, we employ a unique high- temperature recovery system to ensure dust-size particles are removed from the cremator.  Comingling is therefore reduced to an absolute minimum.


How can I be certain my loved one’s cremated remains - and not someone else’s cremated remains - will be returned to me?
There are a variety of ways that crematories use to verify and maintain the identity of individuals to be cremated.  All such methods are based on the paramount goal of returning the correct cremated remains.

Our Gentle Care Crematory employs the health care based method of ensuring identity.  In the presence of a family member, the funeral director places an irremovable bracelet upon the loved one's wrist.  The special bracelet withstands the cremation process and will be present with the cremated remains that are returned to the family. This permanent form of identification avoids the pitfalls of other methods and eliminates the possibility of mistaken identity.  It provides families true peace of mind in knowing they have received the cremated remains of their loved one.

If you have other questions, please call or request a tour of our facility.  We will be proud to show you our Gentle Care Crematory.